Foreign Transfer (U.S.-flag
Under 46 U.S.C. § 56101, MARAD requires
approval for U.S.-documented vessels of
1,000 gross tons to be transferred to foreign
ownership, flag and/or registry. Vessels of
3,000 gross tons and more, and less than 25
years old, are subject to additional financial
terms and conditions as contained in 46
CFR Part 221. MARAD requires a formal
application with supporting documentation
including an original Coast Guard-issued
certificate of ownership. During fiscal 2015,
33 vessels were approved for transfers.
Strategic ports are commercial ports that
have been specifically evaluated and selected for their militarily useful locations, facilities, equipment and services. The National
Port Readiness Network was established to
facilitate coordination within the federal
agencies that support deploying forces
through these ports in the event of a mobilization or national defense contingency.
This coordination is vital to minimizing
congestion and disruption of commercial
activities while supporting the military’s
surge and sustainment cargo operations.
Sixteen commercial ports have been
identified as strategic by the military and
the Maritime Administration. These ports
are: Philadelphia; Hampton Roads Port
Complex, Va.; Morehead City and Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah,
Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Port Arthur, Beaumont and Corpus Christi, Texas; San Diego,
Long Beach and Oakland, Calif.; Tacoma,
Wash.; Anchorage, Alaska; and Guam.
U.S. maritime ports are critical links in the
U.S. domestic and international trade supply chain, serving as the hubs where cargoes are transferred between oceangoing
vessels, barges, trucks, trains and pipelines.
The goal of the StrongPorts Program is to
support efforts to improve infrastructure in
ports throughout the United States and
ensure they are capable of meeting future
freight transportation needs. By addressing
planning, stakeholder engagement, operational and capital financing and project
management, this program will provide
support to ports working to further
increase their capacity and efficiency.
U.S.-flag ships are registered in the United
States, crewed by U.S. citizens and subject
to U.S. laws and regulations. U.S.-flag, pri-
vately owned commercial ships must meet
strict guidelines for construction, mainte-
nance, environmental and safety standards,
resulting in increased operating costs.
To help these ships compete in the
world market, and provide an incentive
for owners to remain under U.S. registry,
Congress established a series of cargo
preference laws that assist ship owners in
obtaining added cargo revenue that helps
defray costs associated with maintaining
their vessels under the U.S. registry.
These laws, the first of which was established in 1904, require that at least 50
percent — and, in the case of the military, 100 percent — of government-sponsored cargo shipped internationally
be carried on U.S.-flag vessels.
The Jones Act, for example, requires
vessels in domestic waterborne trade to be
owned by U.S. citizens, built in the United
States and crewed by U.S. mariners. These
provisions keep American shipping companies, shipyards, mariners, maritime
academies and thousands of people working. It is a critical component to the long-term sustainability of the U.S. fleet and the
health of the U.S. shipbuilding industry.
The Jones Act aids in controlling shipbuilding costs for the Navy, the Marine
Corps and the Coast Guard by ensuring
the health of the industrial base.
The Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck”
McKeon National Defense Authorization
Act of 2015 demonstrated the national
security importance of the Jones Act,
stating that “coastwise trades laws [such
as the Jones Act] promote a strong
domestic trade maritime industry, which
supports the national security and economic vitality of the United States.”
The maritime administrator is the head of
MARAD and advises and assists the
Secretary of Transportation on commercial
maritime matters, the U.S. maritime
industry, and strategic sealift. The mar-
itime administrator also maintains liaison
with public and private organizations con-
cerned with the U.S. maritime industry.
Paul “Chip” Jaenichen has served as
Maritime Administrator since July 25,
2014. He previously served as both
deputy and acting maritime administrator from July 2012 to July 2014.
As required by the Piracy Suppression Act
of 2012, MARAD developed the curriculum on Training for Use of Force Against
Piracy. The curriculum was approved by
both the DoD and Department of
Homeland Security and certified by the
Secretary of Transportation on Oct. 21,
2013. The maritime industry is encouraged to incorporate this curriculum when
providing instruction to current and
future U.S. mariners.
Through its advisories and website,
MARAD provides pertinent information
to assist U.S.-flag ship owners, operators
and other maritime industry representatives with anti-piracy efforts, operational
advice and key resources for further
MARAD, with assistance from Military
Sealift Command, has developed an assistance team to visit U.S.-flag merchant ships
in port to assess their physical security vul-nerabilities to piracy and provide the ships
with “best practices” against piracy. The
Anti-Piracy Assistance Team (APAT)
includes a representative from MARAD
and the Naval Criminal Investigative
Service’s Security Training and Assessment
Team. More than 100 APAT visits have
been conducted since April 2009.
The 648-foot roll-on/roll-off and container ship M/V Cape Ray, far left, is moored
with several other Ready Reserve Force ships at its homeport at the NASSCO-Earl Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., after returning from a mission to the
Mediterranean Sea to dispose of Syrian chemical agents. At the far right is the
amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio.